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Climate change could exacerbate economic inequalities in the U.S.

Counties in the South will pay the greatest price, simulation predicts

By
2:00pm, June 29, 2017
climate change economic map

HEATING UP  Climate change will hurt the economies of some U.S. counties more than others, a new study suggests. Changes in each county’s gross domestic product by 2080–2099 are shown (negative values indicate economic gains).

Climate change may make the rich richer and the poor poorer in the United States.

Counties in the South face a higher risk of economic downturn due to climate change than their northern counterparts, a new computer simulation predicts. Because southern counties generally host poorer populations, the new findings, reported in the June 30 Science, suggest that climate change will worsen existing wealth disparities.

“It’s the most detailed and comprehensive study of the effects of climate change in the United States,” says Don Fullerton, an economist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who was not involved in the work. “Nobody has ever even considered the effects of climate change on inequality.”

Counting the cost

New research simulated climate

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